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the unique look at what's happening in the remote areas of our world and what all of that means for us. first, though. senator tom harkin from iowa saying today he will not be running for a sixth term in 2014. the 73-year-old saying, quote, it's just time to step aside. harkin has become a leading liberal voice in the senate. he was also a key backer of president obama's 2010 health care bill. president obama meanwhile and outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton have given their first ever joint television interview. it airs tomorrow night on "60 minutes." the president in that interview thanked secretary clinton for her hard work. >> i think hillary will go down as one of the finest secretaries of state we've had. it has been a great collaboration over the last four years. i'm going to miss her. >> a few years ago it would have been seen as improbable because
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we had that very long, hard, primary campaign. i worked very hard, but i lost and president obama asked me to be secretary of state, and i said yes, and why did he ask me and why did i say yes? because we both love our country. >> congressman paul ryan today is spelling out what he learned from the election, he speak out as the vice presidential nominee saying moving forward the gop needs to lay out its vision with even more specifics and with a broader appeal. meanwhile, the nation's capital today there was a powerful unprecedented show of public sentiment in gun control. the million mom march brought together thousands from all over the country including 100 people from newtown, connecticut. parents, pastors and gun violence survivors calling for action in the wake of the murders at sandy hook element y elementary.
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>> this time we, the people, will act. we're stepping up and this time we will not step back! >> and what it's counting on is for us to get the newtowns, for us to forget the virginia techs. >> the march comes one day after vice president joe biden held a roundtable talk about gun control in virginia. kristen welker is at the white house and joins me now. when can we expect the president thoims ta himself to take the gun control debate on the road? >> reporter: i think you can expect president obama to hit the road and talk about gun control in the next several days, if not weeks. the white house has said that he as well as vice president biden will continue to leave the white house, get out of d.c. and build up public support for the proposals that president obama unveiled several days ago. of course, those proposals include increasing and improving access to mental health
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services, reinstating the assault weapons ban and limiting high-capacity magazines as well as enacting universal background checks. common knowledge around here, craig, is that a lot of those have a good chance of actually getting passed through congress with the exception of that reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. senator dianne feinstein introduced a tough bill to ban assault weapons this week and even she said it will be a tough uphill battle and there is still fierce opposition in such a ban in congress and throughout the country, the nra has talked about that, as well. on friday, vice president biden kicked off the public campaign to rally public support for the stever gun me stiffer gun measures and senator tim cain. here's what the vice president had to say on friday. take a listen.
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>> it's a consequence of what happen happened. [ inaudible ] >> reporter: the group called organizing for action, craig, which is essentially the relaunched branch of the obama campaign is also helping out in this effort. they are sending out emails and trying to rally support at the grassroots level for stiffer gun legislation and this continues to be an incredibly divisive issue and new legislation will be tough to get through both chambers of congress. >> kristen welker at the white house, thank you so much. we'll check back with you later in the show. joining me now, christina ballantoni and the congressional reporter from "politico." bank to both of you. >> christine, along with big shows of support like today's march and the obama administration taking this push for gun control right to the american people, as well. is the white house -- are they
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even going to bother trying to work with congress on this or is their plan to purely galvanize public opinion? >> it's both. they'll be working with congress on the things that there is support for. a lot of support for mental health funding and taking a look at that. the high-capacity magazines is an issue that both congress and the white house keep talking about and expect to see some agreement on that, but it is a matter of taking it to the people and what vice president biden did on thursday -- and that was a big deal. he actually took questions from real people and opened himself up for half an hour to questions that doesn't really happen and they're not doing this on accident. they're not going to virginia, for example, on accident either. they're trying to galvanize the virginia tech community that was struck by tragedy several years ago to make sure they get action on their own behalf. >> there's been some talk of violent video games and the president did call for funding
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to study the impact of those games on young minds, but why has there not been more talk about violence and movies and white house and television from the white house or vice president biden, for that matter? >> the entertainment industry is very powerful in washington and it's got a key ally in the white house. folks in hollywood have spent an enormous amount of time raising money for this president, helping him get elected and in a lot of ways that influence is seen. the motion picture association of america is a very powerful group. chris dodd, the former senator is ahead of that group. that had something to do with it. instead, as we've seen, a big push on the gun control issue and less so on the entertainment side, but i think what you'll see is initially them trying to double down to the universal background check piece of this because that's the area where they see some consensus particularly on the democratic side. >> that's also one of the areas where john six pack sitting at home saying i have to show my
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driver's license to buy sudafed. it kind of makes sense to be subjected to a background check to buy a gun, as well. do you think, christina, that the video game industry and the entertainment industry, are they going to get a pass at the end of this process? >> i mean, that's a tough question what you define as a pass, but what you are looking at is people preparing to sort of take the heat, particularly in president obama's state of the union and he's not afraid to mention video games sxhooez not afraid to say this is an effort and the nra has said that, as well. so it's definitely going to get a look, but this is not a new issue and what manu says is exactly right. you are going to expect a political fight on both sides on this. >> gabe rielle giffords will spend more money in 2013, and this will will be a battle. >> she mentioned the google
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fireside chat. i want to play a snippet of what vice president biden said and talk about it on the other side. take a listen. >> i'm much less concerned, quite frankly, about what you call an assault weapons and i'm about magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in the magazine, but the point is that the fact that violent crime is down and there's been a proliferation of assault weapons, quote, unquote, as was defined up until now on the street does not suggest that taking the assault weapons off the street does not, in fact, make it safer particularly for the folks that are mostly outgunned cops. >> is the vice president, is he already walking back the assault weapons ban? >> i think it's a little bit of political reality. getting an assault weapons ban is virtually impossible given that the republicans control the house and there are moderate democrats who are very opposed
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to much stricter gun legislation and especially ones who are up for reelection that say in states like alaska and louisiana and they're not exactly very popular. they're trying to be -- both politically realistic and sort of setting the stage and what they can actually get through, but they also don't want to back down in what they believe in which is to actually, reinstate the assault weapons ban and reduce the amount of high-capacity magazines. so you'll see the rhetoric will still be focused on the assault weapons ban and the reality, the white house knows what's politically feasible here. >> we will be coming back to you in just a few minutes. we appreciate it. >> coming up, a health alert. the flu has left millions of us miserable. there are folks that weren't at work as a result of this thing. now there's another microscopic troublemaker on the loose. also the chair that just won't quit. if you think it's gone to the scrap heap, you're just plain
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wrong, punk. first up, women on the front lines. we'll talk to a woman who served in iraq that will talk about what the change will mean for the u.s. military and what it will not mean, as well. you are watching msnbc, the place for politics. [ male announcer ] red lobster is hitting the streets to tell real people about our new 15 under $15 menu! oh my goodness... oh my gosh, this looks amazing... [ male announcer ] 15 entrees under $15! it's our new maine stays! seafood, chicken, and more! ooh! the tilapia with roasted vegetables. i'm actually looking at the wood grilled chicken with portobello wine sauce. that pork chop was great. no more fast food friday's. we're going to go to red lobster... [ male announcer ] come try our new menu and sea food differently. and introducing 7 lunch choices for just $7.99! salad, sandwiches and more. marie callender's turkey breast with stuffing is a great reason to slow down. creamy mash potatoes, homestyle gravy and 320 calories.
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i fundamentally believe that our military is more effective when success is based solely on ability and qualifications and on performance. life, as we all know, there are no guarantees of success. not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier.
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but everyone is entitled to a chance. >> defense secretary leon panetta there along with chairman of the joint chiefs and general martin dempsey lifting the ban on women in combat earlier this week. the decision overturns in 1994 rule that barred women from front line combat roles. i want to bring in retired army colonel jack jacobs and also a medal of honor recipient and he is an msnbc military analyst and an iraq war veteran and an author of "love my rifle more than you," good afternoon, kayla. you are, again, an iraq war vet and served in the army's most well known unit, the 101st airborne division the screaming eagles and you weren't even sure women should serve in combat, why not? >> i'm not so sure that the men i served with were ready. i heard right before we invaded iraq some of the guys saying you
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don't belong in the military at all and much less in combat zones and i wasn't sure if they would ever be prepared, but once we were serving for a while and i went in combat foot patrols and realized the only thing that mattered was to help them accomplish the mission i started to think, okay, maybe some day down the road eventually things will change and these young guys as they move up into leadership positions having served alongside women in combat they may be ready for this type of change and here we are today. that change is happening. >> colonel, here ate thing. women in combat situations have been a reality for a number of years now. more than 150 female troops have died in iraq and afghanistan. why did it take so long for the pentagon to recognize the true role of women in these combat positions? >> bureaucratic institutions change more slowly than almost anything else in the universe, slower than evolution, and it usually takes a great deal of leadership or some catastrophic
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event to change them. i think the irony is that the war we've been fighting for the last ten years which as you said, were casualties were the catalyst that changed everything because we decided we weren't going to put women in combat units and we were fighting in environments that there are no front lines and everybody realized that there was a difference. everybody's a target and the ban against women were women if combat all of the time. >> what are going to be some of the obstacles to put in this plan in place in the military? >> of course, there are always administrative and logistical decisions that will have to be made and that will take some time. women have to apply to be in combat units, and i think some combat units and most notably, special operations and organizations are probably going to have such a high -- a low selection rate, if not most women would be able to be
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involved. >> i think the biggest thing is socialization. people will have to be socialized. i'm reminded in 1976 when we had women first coming into the military academy and they said it won't work. military academies are going down the tubes. >> yeah. >> and here we are, two decades later when women are actually senior officers in their own children have gone through the military a dead me, we did very well with indeed, as a result. something else that mr. panetta talked about at the press conference, sexual assault in the military remains a major problem for the military and general dempsey at the briefing said that the old policy toward women may have contributed to that problem. take a listen. >> i believe it's because we've had separate classes of military personnel at some level. it's far more complicated than that, but when you have one part of the population that is
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designated as warriors and another part that's designated as something else, i think that disparity begins to establish a psychology that in some cases led to that environment. do you agree with that? do you think the restrictions on women in combat may have created a hostile environment of sorts to women? >> absolutely agree with general dempsey. i think the combat exclusion policy formalized women's stat us as second-class citizens within the military and that that created an atmosphere that tolerated sexual harassment. of course, men and women both experience sexual harassment and sexual assault in the military and women do so at much higher rates and i believe that in the long run removing the combat exclusion policy will go a long way toward improving that atmosphere. >> when you heard of the announcement earlier this week, what was your initial reaction? >> where's the champagne? i was incredibly excited and i was very close to a number of female veterans and we were
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texting and calling each other excitedly and it was a tremendous validation and the service of hundreds of thousands of american women in combat including tremendous women like shoshana johnson, the first african-american prisoner of war and tammy duckworth who lost both her legs serving in combat. this truly validates and vindicates everything that all of these brave women have done serving their country in the past decade. >> the last thing i'll say is that good leaders make good units. it doesn't matter what the policies are. it you're a bad leader it doesn't matter if the policy makes sense and it's not going get it. a good leader will make a good unit and this is no different. a good leader will change things. >> very quickly, before i let you get out of here, the repeal of don't ask, don't tell. the women permitted to serve in combat roles and what's next for the u.s. military in term of equal rights and civil rights. the biggest issue is what role
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the military will have in defending the country at a time when our enemies are fragmented everywhere and it requires very well-educated people and i think the next big thing is in my view is universal service. we're not going to be able to defend the country of ten million people and we're an extremely small force and i don't care what the technology. i believe in universal service. >> a la israel or -- >> oh, yeah. it's going to require some logistical changes and it will require a great deal of leadership, but if you have a situation where you have more people in new york city than you had at pearl harbor and you have an all-volunteer force you're outsourcing our defense for a small number of brave young men and women. that's the next big equal opportunity. >> that's fascinating. kayla, very quickly. you're a published author now and an outspoken advocate. i've got to ask you, political future. are you thinking of running for
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something, maybe? perhaps? >> you know, i'm not sure that the people are that interested in electing a woman with tattoos, but i am both happy to continue serving our country in as many ways as we can. >> we've learn more about you today. >> colonel jack jacobs, kayla williams, thanks to both of you. we appreciate it. >> i'm not going ask you where the tattoos were and what they were. you like the restraint there? >> the naacp joining the lawsuit against the city of new york. we'll tell you in the next hour. first, though, quick. is it a bird? is it a plane? no. it's a man. new york's cory booker saving a dog this time. the latest on the standoff between booker and senior statesmen. you're watching msnbc. the place for politics. to the best vacation spot on earth. (all) the gulf!
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>> oh, yes, cory booker to the rescue again. the mayor of new jersey has become a bit of a legend for going above and beyond when it comes to constituent service. this time he helped save a dog from frigid weather. a local tv reporter tweeted this picture of the mayor after he took a shivering dog named cha cha off the streets and put the pooch in a warm cop car. the mayor responded after the local reporter noticed the dog on the street and booker later thanked that reporter saying, quote, because of you that dog was rescued. thank you for reaching out. thank you for your kindness. saving that dog was just the latest in a series of events that have helped booker achieve superhero status in some circles. last yearbooker rescued a neighbor from her burning home in 2010, he helped dig out residents snowed in from a blizzard and he took in residences who lost power during super storm sandy and he served as a first responder helping a resident stabilize a man
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involved in a car accident last summer. apparently, not impressed new jersey senator frank lautenberg who suggested booker deserves a spanking. his words, not ours. booker could be challenging the 89-year-old lautenberg in a democratic primary if the senator decides to run again. aides have complained booker has been disrespectful in being so open about his intentions. telling the philadelphia enquirer, i have four children. i love each one of them. i can't tell you that one of them wasn't occasionally disrespectful so i gave them a spanking and everything was okay. meanwhile, clinton eastwood's infamous chair has a new home. the chair used in eastwood's bizarre national republican convention speech now sits in the office of recently re-elected reince priebus. and the twitter feed, here it is, the view that he turned around and soaked in after delivering that second and final
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inaugural on monday. coming up, some of the gop want to change the rules of the game and if their plan his been in place in november, this man would be president right now. more on that straight ahead and some amazing, rare footage of melting glaciers and a reality check of where we're headed unless president obama follows through on his promise to tackle climate change. we'll tackle that coming up. we're utsch watching msnbc, the place for politics. ac=u"l4#p/wl try charmin ultra strong. it cleans so well and you can use up to four times less than the leading value brand. and it's four times stronger. charmin ultra strong.
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we are following developing news in egypt where clashes between protesters and police have left at least 30 dead and hundreds more injured. all of this coming after a judge there sentenced nearly two dozen people to death for their connections to riots at a soccer game last year where 74 were killed. here's a quick look at top stories making news on this saturday afternoon. a suicide bomber killed five in northeastern afghanistan today,
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and afghan counterterrorism police chief was among those killed. another 20 were injured and many of them, civilians. for those of you who hate all of this cold weather, more bad news for you. no relief coming. more frigid temperatures are coming in the coming week. meteorologists are predicting freezing rain, sleet and snow for the midwest and the northeast and as if winter wasn't enough, federal officials are warning against an outbreak of the norovirus. the bug is different than the stomach flu, but it comes with the same nasty symptoms, but the worst part is there's no vaccine. the best way to ward off the noro virus is, you guessed it, wash your hands. that's politics now. republicans in battleground states are thinking of changing the electoral college to counter president obama's sweeping success in 2012. andrea mitchell has been looking at what could be in store. andrea? >> craig, less than a week after the president was sworn into
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office republicans across the country are thinking that things might be different if they could change the rules for electing a president. if republican proposals in key states to change the way we elect the president and approve and are applied nationwide, this week's inaugural. >> repeat after me. >> preserve, protect and defend. >> would have looked like this. mitt romney would be president despite losing the popular vote to barack obama by a healthy 4%, not a bad idea, said republican chairman reince priebus today. >> i think it's an intriguing idea that some states are looking at which they are and i think it's up to them to decide what they'll do about it. >> reporter: the idea of awarding electoral votes by congressional district instead of the winner take all. advantage republicans control more congressional districts than democrats. maine and nebraska already award electoral votes by congressional district and that's never changed the election outcome, but if the whole country adopted
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plans now being considered in virginia, michigan, ohio, pennsylvania and wisconsin. instead of obama winning 332-206, the electoral map would have gone from blue to red, romney over obama. 273-262, by one estimate. some leading republicans oppose the change. >> i'm a traditionalist myself. i really am a conservative. i'm a little bit skeptical of this. >> and tonight, virginia's governor bob mcdonald came out against it. potential candidates are warning the party has a bigger problem. >> we've got to stop being a stupid party and it's time for a new republican party that talks like adults. they damaged the brand with offensive and bizarre comments. changing what the candidates say could be more important than changing how they count votes. the irony is that democrats have thought about changing the electoral college in the past when they came up on the losing side. craig? >> andrea mitchell, thanks for
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that. for more on this, we turn to the political war room, karen finney and former communications director for the dnc, matt slap, a form arer deputy assistant to george w. bush. gteed good saturday afternoon to both of you. we heard from andry a nebraska and maine use the congressional district system right now. why change the rules now? >> i have to say, craig, this has me scratching my head. i'm a partisan republican. >> at least you acknowledge it. >> i'm not happy how the election came out. i think there are a lot of things we should focus on. trying to find a way how to get an electoral college victory while still losing the popular vote by over three points doesn't seem to send the right message to the american people and the right message is we've heard you. we listened to you and we need to do a better job of explaining what we believe. we have to do a better job of recruiting candidates and we have to learn from the obama
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machine how to turn out voters and have a grassroots operation and something we used to be good at. >> i want to put this map back up again and it shows what would have happened had these rules been in place and this is "the huffington post" of this map. what does this is a of the gop and there are folks inside the party who are considering something like this? >> well, first, let me just say, i don't know if i completely agree that romney would have necessarily won because if we have different rules then both campaigns would have designed their campaigns accordingly. >> but that being said, sure. what have we seen time and time again in these last elections and last time it was finding more ways to make it harder for people to cast their votes with voter i.d. and all of the types of other restrictions and now here we are as andrea pointed out barely passed election day and they're looking at new ways,
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rather than thinking about and focusing on, how do we need to change as a party and not just changing the talking points and understanding that the country has changed and the first instinct was how do we change the rules to make it easier for us to win and that tells you something, particularly as this idea is potentially gaining steam among some republicans and yet you look at the footage from the r, in c meeting and you have people saying we need to figure out how to appeal to voters. you've got to be more sincere about that and this kind of idea is not about reaching voters. >> and it really does smell like some of the voter i.d. stuff all over again matt, and i do want to move on here and karen just brought up the meeting, matt. what do you know about the meeting in north carolina? what came out of it? were you there, first of all? >> i stayed incredibly cold in the washington, d.c. area and most republicans, despite what we were talking about here do
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understand that we have very serious problems before the party. i'm encouraged by the fact that people understand that we have to really look at the way we run our campaigns and the way we recruit candidates. i think the chairman of the party, chairman priebus understands that. >> i'm glad you brought up chairman priebus. how does a guy keep a job? how does a guy get reelected overwhelmingly if his party blue the election the way he did in november. my understanding is what were the primary responsibilities and based on the ground game that we're hearing so far was lackluster, if not pathetic. >> one of the things we decided to remember it was not a parliamentary system and it's not like everybody -- when they lose. it's the presidential campaign itself and just like we're giving the obama campaign all of this credit for doing things
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well, very few people are turning around saying that was the result of the democratic national committee and at the same token you have someone who loses. >> go ahead, karen. >> actually, in the last election cycle, chairman dean through the 50 states strategy, the whole idea was have a vision and infrastructure for whoever with the nominee and we were able to turn over a much more robust computer system and database system than the obama what they built basically was able to sit right on top of that, and i think you can't say that the dnc didn't play a role because over the course of the last four years the point is they were improving on the technology and the ways to reach people. >> look. i've been very honest about what i think my party needs to do to improve going forward and i'll acknowledge his faults, but by the same token what obama has done to change presidential politics is very amazing and i don't think that's a function of
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what he did. i want to learn from it and replicate it and i want to advance beyond it. >> my point is that it has a role in this is one of the most important things when president obama goes out of office. you hear this rhetoric about turning out votes are. it's tru that the changed the face of the electric two times and he did it by reaching out to people and not by changing talking point, but by reaching out and engaging people in the process. many republicans were trying to prevent frommi voting and they themselves a disservice as we saw with the nbc news poll this week agrees that access to legal abortion should be and that roe versus wade should not be overturned and you're a top priority of the republican party is to overturn roe versus wade. that's a real problem.
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>> very quickly. >> let's quickly look at these issues on the questions of life which the gallup institution has taken 2% to 7% on the pro-life issue -- >> no, let me finish on the issue of gun control you'll have depp democrats running for reelection in states like montana and alaska. we'll not have your viewpoint on those issues and those are issues that cut the other way for democrats. >> karen, ten seconds. >> my point is the republican party needs to accept the fact that the country has changed and the demographics have changed and stop pulling the covers over your head and accept that it's not just about putting lipstick on a pig. >> karen, i know how tough it is to get you on a saturday. so i do appreciate you end? ing some time with us. we'll come back to you guys later in a few weeks. coming up, what can we learn from crashing glaciers and is there hope for our warping pl
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warming planet? that story next on msnbc. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. in-wash scent boosters, here with my favorite new intern, jimmy. mmm! fresh! and it's been in the closet for 12 weeks! unbelievable! unstopables! follow jimmy on youtube.
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northrop grumman. putting really delicate electronics in the harshest conditions on the planet. >> that landscape was gone it may never be seen again in the history of civilization and it's stored right here. >> we were watch withing from the award-winning documentary "chasing ice" playing all over movie theaters. it is set up strategically over the arctic and how they are able to tell an unprecedented story of climate change is the focus of today's "what's the big idea?" segment. jeff, good afternoon to you, sir. >> thanks very much, craig. >> we knew theglaciers are in trouble and we know the planet is warming. what's new about this? >> yeah. the real thing here that james has been able to document with
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the time lapses and we captured in "chasing ice" is you can see the process. we've always seen clips of ice, and he's documented the process for over five years and you can see the glaciers retreating at very, very large scales over a significant period of time and it's the first edz of climate change. >> i understand you still have 30 cameras rolling out there right now. what are we seeing right now? what are we seeing right now? >> we have 34 cameras in 16 glaciers and they're in greenland, iceland, alaska and glacier national park and we're seeing the glaciers that we've been documenting have been retreating very, very significantly. some glaciers we've had to pan the camera multiple times and even physically move the camera just to keep the glacier in the frame. >> are humans to blame for all of this? >> not all of it. it's a balance of both natural and man made consequences that
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are affecting these glaciers. there are natural cycles that these glaciers go through and they're natural cycles that we have on planet earth. what the scientists are telling us, however, is that we're very far outside of the normal cycles and they're experts on that and we're 40% higher just from a co2 perspective or 40% higher than we've been in the last million years. so this is something that is very much out of the ordinary. that is a direct result of man made influence. >> president obama in his inaugural address this week he sur pleased a lot of folks by devoting such a hefty chunk of his speech to climate change. i want to play some of that for you. take a listen. >> we will respond to the threat of climate change knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms. >> how much faith do you have
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that this president or this congress can affect major change on this issue over the next four years? >> yeah. that's a really tough question, and obviously, climate change has been turned into a political debate which is a real shame because this is not a political issue. this is not something that will only affect the left or the right. it's something that will affect all human civilization moving forward. from that perspective it's something that we need to take action with and something that we need to address as quickly as possible. it's taken a long time to see the consequences of burning fossil fuels and we're seeing the consequences come to a head right now and i think really, it will take a long time for us to see the consequences of mitigating climate change, as well. it's something that we need to invest a lot of time into. >> the director of the documentary "chasing ice." it is a fantastic film, sir. thank you so much for sharing it with us. >> thank you very much. it's in theaters across the country. >> there's your plug and we
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won't charge you for it. >> he promised to change the rules and said it wasn't fair and the majority leader has changed his mind. what it means for the gridlock on capitol hill. that's straight ahead. this is msnbc, the place for politics especially on sub-zero, sub-freezing days. [ female announcer ] are you really getting salon quality... or settling for wannabes? stop compromising! new vidal sassoon pro series. care and styling from the original salon genius, created to let you have it all at an affordable price. new vidal sassoon lets you say no to compromise and yes to very shiny... very silky... very sexy... very you. it's salon genius in a bottle! now in your store. new vidal sassoon pro series. salon genius. brilliantly priced.
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i think that the rules have been abused and that we'll work to change them. >> we're going to work to change the rules. we cannot continue in this way. >> senate majority leader harry reid warned for months he would take aim at a major cause of gridlock in washington, the filibuster. well, this week, reid reached a deal with his buddy, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell and it is not clear if much has changed at all. in fact, politico reporting the deal does little to end the practices that got the
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filibuster moving in the first place which was the inability of individual senators to block legislation and nominations to find 60 votes to get anything done. back with me now, manu raji, senior politico reporter and marla for the senior news hour. i know you reported on this extensively this week. break this down for me. what were filibuster reformers looking for and what actually came out of this deal? >> one of the big things the filibuster reformers wanted was the so-called talking filibuster. remember the movie "mr. smith goes on washington?" something like that. requiring senators to actually go to the floor and talk their mouths off, if they were actually objecting because right now filibusters are mostly done by threats, but the way that that proposal was structured was such that it caused a lot of concerns among democrats and it could eventually get rid of the filibuster. instead harry reid looked for another way out. a filibuster could be used in
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any number of situations and what he did was limit it in only a very handful of situations and the ability to bring bills forward initially for debate and after the bill passes the senate and moving into a conference committee with the south. he dealt with the issue on nominations, as well. what he thinks is this will end tactics that could be connected with minority senators and it was not close to what they wanted to lower the threshold from 60 to 51 votes to dramatically lessen it this week. >> do you expect a new push for filibuster reform or is the conversation over for now? >> this argument is about the impermanence of power and both republicans and democrats are aware of that. you've seen a lot of shift in the last decade and so they want to make sure you're not doing anything if you want to mess them up later on either side and
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it goes back to the electoral college changes as well. the republicans are circling for an answer and they're looking for different things in different states and some republican governors aren't into that because they're eyeing the office themselves and they don't want to get themselves in trouble and it's about recognizing what happens down the line, 10, 15, 20 years down the line. no, i don't expect an effort on this. it does put pressure the senate to get more things done because they don't have as much of an excuse about how long it takes everything. >> marla, very quickly. i want to get your take on the breaking political news of the day. iowa democrat tom harkin has said he's had enough of the upper chamber and he's had enough and is retirinretiring. is this a shoo-in for republicans? >> i don't think it's a shoo-in, but it makes it more competitive to republicans. and you look at arkansas, to alaska, and south dakota, all of
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the seats that republicans have a good chance of taking and there's a chance that they can get back into the majority and so the idea for the democrats not to change the filibuster now could be beneficial if they end up in the minority and they need to block the republican agenda, but remember, craig, in 2011 we were saying the same thing. it looks like the democrats will have a hard time keeping the majority and what ended up happening is they ended up adding two seats. does congressman steve king become the front-runner? >> he could look at running and this will be a wide-open race and you also have a state that's very important in the presidential process so you will have a lot of national money being paid into the race. you'll have a lot of national interest and attention on the state and it's also a cheap state to advertise. so it will be great and one of the best ones of 2014, i think. >> pbs news hour. m manu, thank you. >> thank you for spending your
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saturday with me. >> thank you. what two civil rights group have to say about the mayor and his ban on super sodas. leaders on capitol hill are trying to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of assault weapons, but are they trying to hit the wrong target? this is msnbc. to the cleaning games. let's get a recap, merv. [ merv ] thanks, other merv. mr. clean magic eraser extra power was three times faster on permanent marker. elsewhere against dirt, it was a sweep, with scuffed sports equipment... had it coming. grungy phones... oh! super dirty! and grimy car rims... wow! that really works! ...all taking losses. it looks like mr. clean has won everything. the cleaning games are finished? and so are we. okay, but i just took a mortgage out on the cabinet. [ male announcer ] clean more, work less, with the mr. clean magic eraser extra power. [ slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium-rich tums starts working so fast
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MSNBC January 26, 2013 11:00am-12:00pm PST

News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.

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